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Stereocontrolled Synthesis of cis-Dibenzoquinolizine Chlorofumarates:  Curare-Like Agents of Ultrashort Duration

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journal contribution
posted on 25.04.2001, 00:00 by Istvan Kaldor, Paul L. Feldman, Robert A. Mook, John A. Ray, Vicente Samano, Andrea M. Sefler, James B. Thompson, Benjamin R. Travis, Eric E. Boros
The quaternizations of dibenzoquinolizines 9 and 14 with 3-halo-1-propanols are highly cis-selective (94−100% cis), results consistent with the N-methylation of O-methylcapaurine (7b), but in contrast to the proposed trans-stereochemistry of dibenzo[a,h]quinolizine methiodide 10 and the analogous quaternizations of 1-benzyl- and 1-phenylisoquinoline congeners 5b and 5c. In this report, we describe stereoselective preparation of the unique cis-dibenzoquinolizinium propanols 15 and 16 and their transformation into bis- and mixed-onium chlorofumarates 19, 20ab, and 26. Dibenzo[a,g]quinolizinium propanol 15 was prepared enantioselectively in three steps from dihydroisoquinoline 11. Asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of 11 in the presence of triethylamine/formic acid and Noyori's chiral ruthenium catalyst 12 produced R-(−)-5‘,8-dimethoxynorlaudanosine (13) in 98% yield and 87% ee. Pictet−Spengler cyclization of 13 in formalin/formic acid afforded the dibenzo[a,g]quinolizine 14 in 65% yield. Quaternization of 14 with 3-chloro-1-propanol under Finkelstein conditions generated cis-dibenzoquinolizinium propanol 15 in 85% yield with >94% cis-selectivity. The cis-dibenzo[a,h]quinolizinium propanol 16 was obtained as a single stereoisomer by reaction of the known tetramethoxyquinolizine 9 with neat 3-iodo-1-propanol. Bis-onium chlorofumarates 18 and 19 and the mixed-onium derivative 20ab were prepared by a pool synthesis procedure from (1R)-trans-6a, 16, and chlorofumaryl chloride (17). Mixed-onium α-chlorofumarate 26 was synthesized from (1S)-trans-6d, 15 and (±)-trans-2,3-dichlorosuccinic anhydride (22), employing a recently disclosed chlorofumarate mixed-diester synthesis. The title compounds (19, 20ab, and 26) displayed curare-like effects of ultrashort duration in rhesus monkeys.